So I had the usual first day of class worries: would I get a terrible teacher? Would the other kids in my class be cool? How am I going to find the classroom? And on a puttering buseta, Argh, am I going to be late??
I made it to the foreign language building about 5 after 4, and could not figure out where I was supposed to be. I finally went to the office there and a woman showed me to a room of what looked like some fairly foreign people where a man was calling out names up front. Just as I was about to sit down, my name was called. Perfect timing, but unsure of what to do I just stood there. Nine of us were called up and followed a short woman in bright red pants to a little room in the economics building, our new professor and our new classroom.
She handed out a sort of rules looking thing and proceeded to explain how the class would work, in Spanish. This made it very satisfying when you understood something, but very worrying when you didn’t. Particularly when she preceded something with, “ah, es muy muy importante…”
Three days later, our numbers have since dwindled to six, a Czech girl and a German guy moved up a level, and one Chinese kid has stopped appearing. We might get more people, but currently we are: a middle-aged Turkish man, two Youngish Germans, a Latvian girl, a Chinese guy, and me. Seems like a good group so far, and the teacher is a philology professor so she is all about the nuances of languages. And she is nice. And she knows english, which feels like cheating on the rare occasions she uses it, but sometimes pantomiming just doesn’t work.
We’ve covered how to introduce yourself (name, age, origin, and profession) which required a surprising amount of time; although partially because the teacher seems to have list-mania and covered the board with possible countries and then the words for that nationality. We’ve also been through the alphabet, and I am waiting in fear for the day it becomes apparent that I can’t roll my tongue. This is serious business, as words like pero (but) and perro (dog) are frequently encountered, and not interchangeable.
So, so far so good, and I have stopped taking the buseta to school and am now braving the streets on my bike. The main problem with the bus is that my class gets out right during rush hour, so sometimes I have to wait for an hour to get the bus, and then it takes an hour to get me home. No good. For comparison, without traffic the buseta only takes about 30 min. On my bike it does take me awhile both ways, but with some improvement it should also take about 30 min, regardless of traffic, and it’s free (or already paid for I guess). Awesome.
Aaaand it’s time to pedal out again!